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DENMARK: Cherry beer joins Carlsberg's Semper Ardens range

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Cerise is the name of the second offering in the Semper Ardens range of hand crafted beers brewed by Carlsberg in Denmark. The cherry beer is inspired by the wish to brew a beer using Danish fruit, which was milder and not as acidic in flavour as the traditional European fruit beers.

Carlsberg's brewmaster Brit Bertram has created a strong beer with notes of the Danish Stevns cherry to accompany both fish and game dishes. The beer contains around 10% unsweetened cherry juice, together with a small amount of an alcoholic extract of cherries, including stones. The stones give the beer a faint aroma of almonds or marzipan.

The hops used are a relatively new type called Simcoe from Yakima in the US. The hops have a slight citrus and fruit aroma while the dosage of hops is moderate, which balances well with the cherry's sweetness and acidity. The cherry juice and the dark caramel malt give the beer a beautiful red-gold colour.

"Colour, bitterness, body, sweetness, acidity and special ingredients, there are many combinations to play with when we create a new beer," said brewmaster Brit Bertram, who has led the Cerise project.

"The starting point for Cerise was that we would like to brew a beer from Danish fruit, and one of the Danish fruits that I think matches well with beer is cherry.

"To complement the acidity in the cherry there needs to be body, sweetness and a lot of alcohol. The result has been a strong beer with a pleasant rounded cherry taste. It has an interesting almond aroma that comes from the cherry stones."

Cerise is the second beer from a development project called by the Latin name Semper Ardens (always burning), which for more than a year has brought together Carlsberg's master brewers and some of Denmark's leading chefs. The first beer, Abbey Ale, was launched in the summer and has already been sold out.

Semper Ardens was one of the mottoes of Carl Jacobsen, the son of Carlsberg's founder J.C. Jacobsen. The motto reflects his philosophy that a brewer should always strive to improve both himself and the quality of his beer - a motto that Carlsberg still holds dear.

Brewing takes place at Carlsberg's small-scale pilot brewery in Valby, Copenhagen, which sits in the cellars below the brewery in which Carl started his brewing career. Only 3,000 bottles of each brew will be produced, which is the maximum capacity of the pilot brewery. A new brew will appear every three months. Each 70cl bottle has been hand filled and labelled by hand. These beers will only be available in 30 specially selected restaurants in Denmark.

Rare yeast types, unusual cereals, and completely new brewing strategies form the basis of the new brews. Many different types of hops with very different aroma characteristics will be used.

Companies: Carlsberg

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